Lake jail deputy dies af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for virus

Orlando Sentinel - - Local & State - By John Cut­ter

A 52-year-old Lake County Sher­iff’s Of­fice de­ten­tion deputy died while un­der quar­an­tine af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive re­cently for the coro­n­avirus.

Mas­ter Deputy Lynn Jones passed away on Wed­nes­day, the eve of his 13th an­niver­sary work­ing for the sher­iff’s of­fice, said Sgt. Fred Jones. He leaves be­hind his wife, Felisia and three daugh­ters, ages 15, 17 and 21.

“He was an of­fi­cer and a gentle­man. I know that is a cliche,” said Jones, who is not re­lated to Lynn Jones. “He re­ally en­joyed the sim­ple things in life.”

Jones was one of 18 staff mem­bers at the jail in Tavares who re­cently tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19 and was spend­ing time un­der quar­an­tine at home. More than 100 in­mates also have tested pos­i­tive.

Sher­iff Pey­ton Grin­nell an­nounced the death “with great sad­ness” on the agency’s Face­book page Wed­nes­day evening.

“Jones was highly re­spected at the Sher­iff’s Of­fice by all who knew him as he has been de­scribed as a hard-work­ing em­ployee with great in­ter­per­sonal skills who led by ex­am­ple,” the agency said in a re­lease. “The Sher­iff’s Of­fice is grate­ful for his ser­vice and is pray­ing for peace and com­fort for Jones’ wife, Felisia, their three daugh­ters, Shay­lynn, Kan­dace, and Jada, and all who knew and loved him.”

Sgt. Jones, a public in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, said Lynn Jones was look­ing for­ward even­tu­ally to his re­tire­ment.

“We talked about life af­ter law en­force­ment,” said Sgt. Jones. “Go­ing fish­ing, spend­ing time with fam­ily.”

He also was plan­ning to get back to an ear­lier ca­reer as a chef, of­fer­ing cater­ing ser­vices.

“He loved to cook,” Sgt. Jones said, not­ing that Jones worked in a Mor­ri­son’s Cafe­te­ria af­ter leav­ing the Army and be­fore he started with Lake County.

De­ten­tion deputies work in­side the jail, where peo­ple are ei­ther await­ing trial or serv­ing short-term sen­tences. But it is more than watch­ing the in­mates, Sgt. Jones said.

“When Lynn did his rounds, he was al­most like a coun­selor, like a so­cial worker,” Sgt. Jones said. “He would talk to them about their choices, about why they are there” and how not to come back.

Jones also was a mem­ber of the sher­iff ’s honor guard, who ap­pear at law en­force­ment fu­ner­als and other events in full-dress uni­forms.

Al­though Jones tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, his cause of death needs to be con­firmed by the med­i­cal ex­am­iner, Sgt. Jones said. He had no symp­toms when he started his quar­an­tine on June 13, but his wife told deputies that he wasn’t feel­ing well on Wed­nes­day.

He died at his Or­lando home. No de­tails were avail­able Thurs­day about fu­neral ser­vices.

Lake County has seen a spike in coro­n­avirus cases in re­cent weeks. As of Thurs­day, there were 881 in­fec­tions, more than dou­ble the num­ber of two weeks ago, when there were 355 cases.

An­other law en­force­ment of­fi­cer in Lake County died from COVID-19 ear­lier this year. Con­rad Buck­ley, a Cler­mont pa­trol of­fi­cer for two years, passed away in April af­ter catch­ing the in­fec­tion dur­ing a trip north.

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